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Boffins achieve 'breakthrough' in random number generation

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Lillian Barnwell
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New method could make it harder for hackers in the future

Researchers have devised a method of generating random numbers that could shake up computer encryption.

University of Texas computer science professor David Zuckerman and PhD student Eshan Chattopadhyay have found that a "high-quality" random number could be generated by combining two "low-quality" random sources.

Random number generation is used for a variety of applications including cryptography and scientific modelling.

Zuckerman is quoted in Threatpost saying: "We show that if you have two low-quality random sources – lower-quality sources are much easier to come by – two sources that are independent and have no correlations between them, you can combine them in a way to produce a high-quality random number."

Their paper has caught the attention of other academics worldwide who have described the research as "pulse-quickening" and "a breakthrough in theoretical computer science."

"This is a problem I've come back to over and over again for more than 20 years," said Zuckerman.

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Lillian Barnwell
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